Bleeding heart plants are beautiful. They are grown for their pretty flowers that look like hearts. They are dark pink/pale pink in color.
The heart-shaped flowers have a protruding end that makes them look like bleeding hearts. The bleeding heart plant is known scientifically as Dicentra.
It is nice to have them in your garden. But like all things nice, these plants come with some issues. Let’s see what issues the plant runs into and how to fix them.
Bleeding heart leaves turning yellow
Do you see yellow leaves on your Bleeding hearts plant? Yellow leaves on the Bleeding heart plant are seen due to Improper watering.
This is also seen in fungal wilt diseases or due to hot weather. Let’s see how to fix them one by one.
Do you guys live in a place where the summer is scorching? If yes, then this is probably the reason why the leaves turn yellow.
Bleeding heart plant’s leaves shrivel up during summer but where it’s hotter than normal the leaves turn yellow way before.
To fix: Make sure the soil around the plant stays moist during the summer. You may want to cut the plant back to 1 to 2 inches above the ground in the fall.
Be conscious while watering your Bleeding hearts plant. If you water more than the plant needs, the leaves turn yellow.
Overwatering deters the roots from absorbing the essential minerals thus causing foliage yellowing.
Water your Bleeding hearts plant twice a week when it’s hot outside. Reduce the amount of water as the summer comes to an end.
In winter, water the plant only twice a month for best results. This helps reduce waterlogged conditions.
You may want to keep the soil healthy if you don’t want to run into overwatering issues. Make sure the soil drains the excess water.
Not only overwatering but underwatering can cause leaf yellowing too. You can differentiate between overwatering and underwatering though.
Underwatered plants’ leaves look limp but break easily. Track your watering sessions to know if you overwatered or underwatered a plant.
Check the soil with fingers and the soil is completely dry, the plant is underwatered. You may want to water such plants regularly.
How often should you water a bleeding heart?
Water your Bleeding heart plant twice a week if it’s summer. In winter water the plant only two times in a month for best results.
Tip: Make sure the soil drains excess water well.
Bleeding hearts plants can be infected by Verticillium wilt disease. This disease causes wilting of the leaves followed by yellowing.
It may take some time for the symptoms to appear. People mistake this disease with other fungal diseases or seasonal dieback.
Send a sample of your plant to the local horticulture officer to confirm the disease. Dispose of the plant if it’s infected by Verticillium wilt.
Replace the soil with fresh soil to prevent the spread of the disease.
Experts say that the Bleeding hearts plant is also prone to Fusarium wilt. This is a fungal disease too which attacks roots first.
The disease slowly spreads to the entire plant via lower stems and leaves. You’ll notice that the lower leaves turn yellow.
To confirm this disease, cut open a stem. If you see dark streaks on the surface of the cut stem, you can confirm this disease.
There’s nothing you can do once this disease infects your plant. Dispose of the infected plant carefully.
Lighting and Soil
Lighting plays an important role in maintaining the health of a plant. Plants die back due to bright light and excess heat.
This is seen especially in summer. You may want to place your plant so that it receives partial sunlight, especially on hotter days.
Soil is for plants what water is for fishes. Soil pH is important for the growth of plants. Bleeding heart plants thrive in acidic soil.
So, get the soil test done and see if the soil is the reason for foliage yellowing. Alkaline soil can be fixed by adding sulfur or peat moss.
Note: Amend the soil six months before planting your favorite plants.
Bleeding heart leaves curling
Leaves get curled due to excess heat or aphid infestation. We’ve already discussed the excess heat situation, let’s see how to fix an aphid infestation.
Aphids are popular insect pests that attack many plants in one’s garden. Aphids are tiny, pear-shaped insects that are not easily visible.
Large populations of aphids can cause the yellowing of leaves in your Bleeding heart plant. This happens when aphids feed on the leaves.
Infected leaves become distorted as these pests suck plant sap via leaves. Place yellow sticky cards around the plant to detect pests early.
To treat: Spray the infected plant parts with a garden hose. This will dislodge the majority of aphids. This works in the early stages.
To control aphids biologically you can introduce Aphid lions and parasitic wasps.
Natural control of aphids can be done by spraying a mixture of 1 cap of biodegradable soap and 1 quart of water.
Bleeding heart vine losing leaves?
Your Bleeding heart vine is losing leaves probably due to improper watering. Both overwatering and underwatering can cause these symptoms.
Bone dry, brown-colored leaves are seen due to underwatering. If you see these symptoms on your plant, make sure the plant’s root ball gets moist.
If this issue is due to overwatering, you need to stop watering for a while. Check the soil moisture with fingers to know what’s wrong.
Bleeding heart leaves drying up
Dried leaves on the Bleeding heart plant are seen due to excess heat. Such a condition is a common sight during summer.
The leaves appear dried up and eventually turn yellow. This is a natural process but happens intensely in hotter regions.
You can prevent this situation by watering your plant regularly. Keep the soil around the plant moist. Add a layer of mulch to prevent excess water evaporation.
Why is my Bleeding heart plant wilting?
Bleeding heart plant’s leaves wilt due to Stem rot. Fusarium wilt and Verticillium wilt also cause wilting in the leaves of this plant.
If the plant is infected with Fusarium wilt/Verticillium wilt, you need to dispose of the plant carefully.
Stem rot is caused by a fungus. This disease is characterized by stem rotting and wilted/distorted leaves. One can identify stem rotten plant easily.
Stem rot causes a whitish, slimy coating on almost all the parts of the Bleeding hearts plant. You need to dispose of the plant immediately.
Why are Bleeding heart leaves turning black?
Bleeding heart leaves turn dark brown when the plant’s infected with Botrytis. This is a type of fungal disease that causes mushy, brown leaves/parts.
You can confirm this disease if you find clusters of gray/silvery spores. Make sure there is optimum air circulation in between the plants.
Get rid of any debris around the plant to prevent this infection. Add a good layer of organic mulch as a preventive measure.
Black spots on Bleeding heart leaves
Black spots on Bleeding heart leaves are caused due to Leaf spot disease. Leaf spot disease is caused by a fungal pathogen.
Small black/brown spots appear on the leaves of the Bleeding heart plant. These spots eventually enlarge with a yellow center.
This halo part of the leaf dies. Such leaves die and fall off the plant. The plant dies as the disease progresses.
If you identify this disease early you could probably treat the plant with a fungicide.
Do Bleeding hearts die back after blooming?
Yes, Bleeding heart plants die back after the blooming season. Dieback starts usually in the mid-summer season.
This is because the plant has spent a good amount of energy on flower production and needs some time to recover.
The plant recovers by late winter or early spring. Growth returns to normal after a long period of dormancy.
Should I cut back my bleeding heart after it blooms?
Yes, you can cut your Bleeding heart plant as soon as you see yellow leaves on it. This is usually seen after the period of blossom.
Cutting back your Bleeding heart plant won’t affect the next year’s blossoms in any way. You can prune the plant in mid-summer as this is when the foliage color fades naturally.
Care well for your Bleeding heart plant by watering it regularly. Check the soil once a month to make sure nothing’s wrong.
Keep an eye out for any and all kinds of pests that could attack your Bleeding heart plant. Try to plant resistant varieties.
Happy Growing 🙂